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Amplifier advise, 500 quid with a phono stage, thoughts?

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p_m_brown's picture
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RE: Amplifier advise, 500 quid with a phono stage, thoughts?

Bit more than that, but very happy Dad!

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plastic penguin's picture
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RE: Amplifier advise, 500 quid with a phono stage, thoughts?

Like to know how it compares to the A28.

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Formerly known as plastic penguin

p_m_brown's picture
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RE: Amplifier advise, 500 quid with a phono stage, thoughts?

Well as soon as get a chance, I will swap out my A28 and give you a quick comparison  Smile

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plastic penguin's picture
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RE: Amplifier advise, 500 quid with a phono stage, thoughts?

Also, PM, when you get the chance could you fill us in a bit more on the Leema dac, both as a dac and preamp?

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Formerly known as plastic penguin

p_m_brown's picture
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RE: Amplifier advise, 500 quid with a phono stage, thoughts?

Will do PP!

I live a fair way from my Dad so i thought it only helpful to get the A19 run in before I deliver it to him! First impressions of the amp in my set up are very good. It has a soundstage to rival the A28 and has some decent bass power. It is detailed and has a full midrange so vocals, snare drums and cymbals sound particularly nice - definitely has the Arcam family sound albeit a bit a tad more exciting.

Just listened to Stop Listening by Radiohead, Consolers of the Lonely by the Raconteurs and Needles and Pins by the Deftones on the A28 then on the A19. The little A19 certainly produces a room filling sound but one thing that it does fall slightly short on is organising that big soundstage. When listening to the raconteurs track, the vocals sound a little bit too far forward in the mix, so some of the background atmosphere of the track is lost and I feel it doesn't quite convey the layers as convincingly as the A28.

That slight layering issue is also evident with the Deftones track. It is a pretty loud track and not overly dynamic but it does sound just as powerful on the A19 as the A28 if not quite as composed.

Surprisingly, the Radiohead track, which is my favourite for auditioning gear, sounded pretty damn good. Ok, so the ride cymbal didn't fly around the room like it does on a more expensive set up but it stayed pretty composed! 

All in all, a great amp for the money and not one I feel I need to swap back straight away! The detail is definitely on par with the A28 and whilst it doesn't quite deliver the punch or composure of the A28 at higher volumes, it is a fine sounding amplifier that has left a smile on my face!

More importantly, the A19 is a massive upgrade for Dad's ageing Cambridge Audio amp and I am sure he is going to love it!

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boggit's picture
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RE: Amplifier advise, 500 quid with a phono stage, thoughts?

Thanks for that really useful as I'm looking at the A19.

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RE: Amplifier advise, 500 quid with a phono stage, thoughts?

  if you are looking at a19, you must hear the brio-r also. i thought it was far better sounding (like if i were to give the brio-r 10 out of 10, the a19 would get 4).

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p_m_brown's picture
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RE: Amplifier advise, 500 quid with a phono stage, thoughts?

Thanks for your input but I have now got the A19 for my Dad.

Unfortuntely the Brio didn't pass my Mum's seal of approval due to the looks!

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radiorog's picture
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RE: Amplifier advise, 500 quid with a phono stage, thoughts?

 well, it is a lovely gift thats for sure. i think the a19 struggled with my low impedence speakers, as also mentioned in whf review. with right speakers it's supposed to be awesome. 

 sorry for my negative comment.prob not what you want to hear after a purchase.  silenced

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RE: Amplifier advise, 500 quid with a phono stage, thoughts?

radiorog wrote:

  if you are looking at a19, you must hear the brio-r also. i thought it was far better sounding (like if i were to give the brio-r 10 out of 10, the a19 would get 4).

 

I did not rate the Rega for various reasons, The Arcam A19 was OK but too refined for me, the Creek 50A was the best out of the 50W amps I heard.